On Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 9:30 am, The IBC Network Foundation will present a grant in the amount of $50,000, to Dr. Bisrat Debeb, Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

The purpose of the grant is to further research in the area of Inflammatory Breast Cancer, specifically to research the therapeutic targeting of a key regulator of brain metastasis.

Brain metastasis is very common in patients with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and poses a major treatment challenge. Developing novel therapies for brain metastases requires understanding the mechanism underlying their occurrence, but currently that knowledge is constrained by the lack of ideal pre-clinical models.

The MD Anderson Cancer Center Inflammatory Breast Cancer Clinic and Research Program has recently developed two pre-clinical mouse models in which tail-vein injection of a triple-negative and a HER2+ IBC cell lines led to a high rate of brain metastases, a major advance over previous models. Using these models, the research program has discovered a ‘brain metastasis switch’ molecule (a mircoRNA we’ve called mIR-switch) which when turned on enhances brain metastasis, and when turned off blocks brain metastasis (see Figure 1).


(Figure 1)



Herein, the research program will examine the efficacy of targeting this switch in the prevention and treatment of brain metastases in the pre-clinical models that have been developed. The type of RNA based therapeutic is being tested in patients in other sites. A positive study will support the development of a clinical trial to treat and prevent brain metastases.

The IBC Network Foundation was founded by Terry Lynn Arnold, an IBC survivor, to fund research and promote awareness of Inflammatory Breast Cancer.



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